Regular consumption of ultra-processed foods such as sugary soft drinks or industrial sweets can lead to a greater risk of developing clinical depression in the future, according to a study by a Spanish team of scientists.
The study was conducted by the Center for Biomedical Research in the Pathophysiology Network of Obesity and Nutrition (Ciberobn) and its results are published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
A total of more than 14,000 volunteers have been tracked for a maximum of 16 years, and it has been shown that consumers of ultra-processed foods have had a 33% greater risk of depression than those with minimal or no consumption. and even higher in people with low levels of physical activity.
Previous studies have already found that this type of food increases the risk of hypertension and obesity, conditions that share mechanisms and risk factors with depression, says a note by the researcher at Ciberobn and the first author, Clara Gomez Donoso.
Low nutritional quality
This finding, he adds, "contributes to the increasing scientific evidence of the serious harmful effects of this type of food."
Ultra-processed foods are industrial compositions made from refined ingredients, the authors explained, such as sugar, starch, vegetable oils and salt, or synthesized as "trans" fats or supplements, and "do not contain any recognizable food."
These include sweet non-alcoholic beverages, sausages, sweetened desserts, biscuits, industrial pastries or cereal snacks, and are characterized by low nutritional quality.
In addition, ultra-processed foods are ready for consumption at any time without need for preparation and have high availability in the market, warned them, which favored their consumption and "displaces the consumption of useful foods and is moving away from food patterns. healthy. "
The study is part of the Naval Surveillance Project (SUN), directed by Miguel A. Martinez-Gonzalez, a researcher at Ciberobn.